MASSIVE GILT LACQUER WOOD FIGURE OF VAIROCANA.
Previously sold at Christie’s New York, September 21, 2004, Lot #140 described as follows: LATE MING DYNASTY, 16TH/17TH CENTURY. Shown seated in padmasana with hands held in guanding yin, the mudra of annointing, wearing loose robes draped with a shawl that falls in graceful folds around the body, the broad face with gentle downcast expression, with black glass pupils, the hair dressed in small conical snail curls that are applied and painted dark blue, the top of the head with matching curls separately made, wearing a separate crown molded with a character, the robes and body in dark red lacquer that has been gilded and the inside of the robe, where visible, in bright red lacquer. Notes: The guanding yin, or abhiseka mudra, is used only by esoteric sects during rites of initiation, usually for the entry of a novice monk into the Buddhist order. There are significant similarities between the present figure and that of a small lacquered-wood figure of Guanyin illustrated by A. Priest, Chinese Sculpture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1944, pl. CXXVIII, which can be dated to the year 1624 by a piece of silk found inside the figure that bears the date and the names of the donors. The Metropolitan Museum’s figure shares with the current figure similar treatment in the eye sockets, eye brows and realistically modelled nose and full lips, as well as simplified and elegant treatment of the drapery. The present figure also bears similarities to the Ming dynasty gilt and lacquered-wood figure of the seated Buddha illustrated in Ancient Chinese Sculptural Treasures: Carvings in Wood, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan, 1998, p. 49, no. 2. SIZE: 65-1/2″ h x 45″ w. CONDITION: Surfaces intact. Roughness around base. 9-94900 (40,000-60,000) – Lot 93
Auction: FAAA - Wall-Apelt Collection - March 2015
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